Penalties for falling below the maintaining balance requirement is the most common concern written about by bank account owners commenting on our blogs.
There have been account owners who have seen their savings reduced by 600 pesos or 900 pesos or 1,200 pesos for failing to see on time that their account balances have fallen below the required balance.
There's even one OFW whose account balance was reduced by 4,500 pesos! That's 300 pesos x 15 months of falling below the required balance. This OFW did not know that the bank account's maintaining balance requirement has increased. Two other OFWs lost 1,800 pesos and 3,500 pesos to this kind of penalty.
What Are the Common Reasons Why Account Owners Suffer This Penalty?
. The account owner does not know there's such a thing as maintaining balance.
. The account owner knows there's a maintaining balance requirement but is not able to maintain the
. The account owner knows his maintaining balance requirement but does not know there was an increase in the amount required.***
Why Is There a Maintaining Balance Requirement?
This is to share in the cost of maintaining one's accounts in the banks' systems. Why won't the banks shoulder this cost? Banks will say they are in business to make profits.
In the US, what they have is a bank maintenance fee. Account owners pay a monthly fee to maintain their accounts. If they don't like to pay this fee, then they should maintain a certain balance in their account. It's the same cost concept.
This Is Why Zero-Maintaining Balance Accounts Have Become Popular
As people become familiar with maintaining-balance penalties, banks accounts like the following have become popular:
BDO Kabayan peso and dollar savings account
BPI Easy Saver savings account
Metrobank OFW peso and dollar savings account
PNB OFW peso and dollar savings account
Other banks' OFW saving accounts
Here are Common Bank Account Products, Maintaining Balance Requirements and Below-Maintaining Balance Penalties:
|Bank||Account Product||Maintaining Balance||Below-Maintaining-|
|Metrobank||OFW Peso Savings||0**|
|PNB||Superteller ATM Peso||3,000||300|
* Penalty is imposed at the end of the 2nd consecutive month your account fell below the required maintaining balance
** OFW accounts have no maintaining balance requirement, but you need to send money from abroad to your account at least once in 12 months.
After 12 months of no foreign remittance, your account is converted into a regular account, and you'll need to comply with the maintaining-balance requirement. If you fail to comply, and your account balance is not enough to pay the 300-peso penalty, your account will automatically close.
*** BPI Easy Saver has no maintaining balance requirement, but you pay 5 pesos for every ATM withdrawal and ATM balance inquiry.
****BPInoy Savings Account has no maintaining balance requirement, but you need to send money to your account at least once every 3 months.